Is there a close synonym in modern day AmE for what is referred to in BrE as a workmate?

Aside from being current, I wish I could get a term that is idiomatic with no space or hyphen, that would sit somewhere between "coworker" and "work pal" on the intimacy scale, and that would come right after "fellow worker" on the formality one.



Please consider this ngram source

  • Work friend or work pal?
    – Ronan
    Mar 25, 2014 at 11:22
  • 1
    Most natural would probably be a friend from work. Mar 25, 2014 at 11:33
  • @Ronan Thanks for your suggestions, but actually I'm looking for a word less intimate than "work pal" and "work friend", and ideally with no space or hyphen by analogy with "workmate".
    – Elian
    Mar 25, 2014 at 11:35
  • @JanusBahsJacquet "Coworker" might actually be the term that fits best. What do you think?
    – Elian
    Mar 25, 2014 at 11:51
  • 1
    Exactly, can you not just use workmate?
    – Ronan
    Mar 25, 2014 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


Americans in general say:

  • 'coworker' for someone they work with, no friendliness (or lack of friendliness) implied
  • 'officemate' for someone you share an office with
  • 'friend at work' for someone they get along well with at work. This isn't a set phrase. It is very literal meaning they are chummy at work but aren't necessarily friends outside of work.

'Workmate' is just not used in AmE.

Which is all to say I don't think there is an exact translation of 'workmate' to AmE. Of course, since I am not a BrE speaker, I'm not exactly sure of the nuances of 'workmate' other than it is somewhat foreign to me.

  • I agree that workmate isn't used in AmE, at least not in the Midwest. Americans also use the words associate and colleague for coworkers, especially in business/office/professional settings.
    – JLG
    Mar 26, 2014 at 12:59

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